Lottery winner starts new life - as a pig farmer

Says she feels she's 'hit the jackpot'

Updated: 
Six lottery balls on a white reflective table

Lottery winner Sue Herdman has rejected a champagne lifestyle for a gruelling life as a pig farmer instead.

While most winners splash their winnings on fast cars or designer goods, the 46-year-old is breeding piglets instead - despite her £1.2 million win five years ago.

Before her win, Sue worked at a Hereford hairdressers, and says she sometimes struggled financially, but was always well turned-out and carefully made up. Now, she says, she often buys clothes from charity shops - but has no regrets.

"Winning the lottery was amazing, but the first time I brought a piglet into the world, I felt I'd hit the jackpot," she tells the Daily Mail.

"Friends think I'm crazy. It's a dirty seven-day job. Some piglets need 24-hour attention and there are days I only get a few hours sleep. But they bring me more satisfaction than any money ever could."

Before her win, Sue was already dating old friend Andrew Hornshaw, now 47. But with his farm 220 miles away from her home, it was hard to spend enough time together.

"Six months after my win - and wanting desperately to see Andrew - I suddenly thought what am I doing?" she says.

"I've been given this wonderful gift of a lottery win and I need to make the most of it. I put the salon up for sale that day."

And while she was content at first to remain hands-off, all that changed the day she saw a pig give birth. She now regularly gets up at 6.30am to tend to the animals.

"I always imagined if I won the lottery I'd buy a new car and clothes," she says. "But the reality is I still love hunting for bargains - and I've discovered I love pigs."

Only one in five lottery millionaires keeps on with their old job, says Camelot, although around 15% start their own business - sometimes after a period of leisure.

In 1998, for example, Roy Gibney won £7.5 million, but says he quickly became bored with a life filled with fast cars and racehorses. He now runs a sheet-metal business, as well as supporting several charities.

Not many lottery winners choose pig farming, though, for their new business: most popular are property development and food retail.

"It's definitely not the usual life of a lottery winner and if you'd told me before I won that this was how I'd spend my days, I'd have said, 'no way'," says Sue.

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